Being and staying healthy is of great concern for expatriates who are often faced with different and strange diseases in foreign countries. It is therefore paramount to take the necessary steps to ensure they remain in good health which can be a daunting task. You need to learn and research more on the health risks of the place you are traveling to the way ahead of time so that you know how best to protect yourself.

If you plan on staying abroad for one year or more, it is best to have a health insurance plan for both yourself and your family should you be in need of medical assistance. Research widely and go for plans that offer extensive and comprehensive health insurance for both expatriates and global citizens. It would be an added advantage if those plans are renewable.

Here are a few health insurance options available for expatriates living abroad;

Long-term Insurance

These plans cover both individuals and families who are international citizens working or living abroad. They are also the best for people who have multiple residencies in different countries as well as frequent travelers. These are great for international travelers, diplomats, and expatriates because they are renewable annually.

Short-term Insurance

These plans are also available for individuals and families and provide a cover ranging from five days to a maximum of three years. These are customized to provide protection from injury and illness when you are away from your home country. Most of these are used by students who stay in foreign countries for no more than three years.

Most probably, you will have to process this insurance while waiting to travel oversees. It means, therefore, that there are documents you will have to sign electronically. If you are used to the wet – ink paper signing, it might be quite interesting to learn signing documents with e- signatures. This is something that will definitely make part of your new life if moving to Europe or the United States of America.

Corporate Business Insurance

These group plans are customized for organizations which have an international footprint. They are for employers and employees who are stationed internationally and frequently travel for work purpose between different countries. These plans are ideal for business executives, entrepreneurs, and international executives.

Marine Captain and Crew Cover

These plans also cover both individuals and groups and are offered to the professional marine crew. Due to the nature of their work which is high risk and their nomadic lifestyle, these plans offer a great cushion in case of illnesses and injury. The plan offers high cover level and is also renewable from time to time depending on the insurance company you go with.

There are many insurance companies that offer these services. However, the main ones we are going to cover are IMG Global Medical, Cigna International, and GeoBlue Xplorer. Here’s a low down on the plans:

IMG Global Medical

Their plans range from Bronze, Silver, Gold, Gold PLUS and Platinum with a policy maximum of $1,000,000 – $8,000,000 lifetime per individual. It is available to both U.S. and Non-U.S. citizens with a limit of up to 74 Years of Age.  The great thing about this policy is that it is available worldwide and has great options for clients who are working with a budget including both older and younger travelers. The benefits of their platinum plan are also great.

Cigna International

Cigna International plans consist of Silver, Gold, and Platinum with optional modules. Their policy maximum is $1,000,000, $2,000,000 or Unlimited for every year. They cover all nationalities of all ages and their coverage area is worldwide excluding the US. This plan is considered international and of high quality. It is ideal for expats individuals or families living overseas for more than two years. The plan is also designed in such a way that it helps to lower your costs.

GeoBlue Xplorer

Their plans range from Xplorer Essential, Select and Premier Plans and have an unlimited policy maximum. It’s available in all states as well as for US citizens and residents. It also provides worldwide coverage. If you are looking for a premium coverage this is for you. It is ideal for U.S citizens residing abroad. If you maintain your American health plan, your costs will be significantly reduced.

There are a few benefits included on most expat health insurance policies. They include but not limited to:

  • Annual, semi-annual, quarterly and monthly payments of premiums
  • Medical evacuation in cases of emergencies
  • US coverage where possible
  • Vision and Dental Insurance, or as value-addition to some plans
  • Maternity coverage where applicable
  • Term-Life insurance found on most plans
  • Annual preventative check-ups
  • Most may commence coverage 30 days before departing from the states.

When all is said and done, if you are considering moving or working abroad for a considerable amount of time, you should seriously think of a health insurance plan in case of any eventualities. Different regions have different health risks, therefore, you should have a medical cover for any emergencies.

If you are traveling for a shorter time, ensure you also have travel medical plan however simple it may be because you never know what the journey ahead has in store for you.